7 Best Dash Cams for 2023 – Car and Driver
how do dash cams work?
A dash cam allows you to record the road while you drive. They usually plug into your car’s 12V outlet, although some are battery-powered, and record whenever the car is started.
dash cams can capture images of incidents, accidents or unexpected situations, such as a reckless driver or a traffic stop. they can be extremely helpful when proving fault for an accident before the police or insurance companies.
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dash cams are specifically designed to record high-quality video at any speed, day or night, regardless of whether your vehicle is parked or moving. They are designed to consistently record at high frame rates with HD video resolution and to withstand extreme temperatures. many sync with cameras in the cabin and at the rear.
Most do not require you to manually start, stop, or save recordings. many sync with mobile apps that unlock other features such as GPS, red light alerts, and driver assistance features, and can send notifications to your phone in the event of an incident.
recordings are usually stored on a micro sd card (usually not included) which records video in a loop, depending on the size of the card. When the card reaches its maximum capacity, most dash cams will start overwriting the oldest recordings.
however, more contemporary models will allow you to store recordings in the cloud for safekeeping. This makes it easy to share with insurance companies, the police, or others to help protect you in the event of accidents, insurance fraud, repair shop damage, and other unexpected events.
How long does a dash cam record?
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Recording quality, sd card capacity size and other factors can affect how long a dash cam can record. with high-quality 1080p recording, you can expect approximately:
- 8gb micro sd card: less than an hour
- 16 gb micro sd card: 1 hour and 50 minutes
- 32gb micro sd card: about 3.5 hours
However, even with such sd card time constraints, a good dash cam will not stop recording once the memory card is full. most have continuous loop recording, so when they run out of storage, they just record over the oldest video files.
quality dash cams and their mobile apps will allow you to block videos from being overwritten and, in most cases, automatically save footage from any incident, such as an accident.
Most modern options offer cloud video management, allowing you to easily transfer your saved videos to online storage. This frees up space on your camera’s sd card and makes it easy to edit and share images as needed.
Are dash cams legal?
They are in the United States, but you should check your state and local laws and restrictions on their use and mounting specifications. in some cases, the police can confiscate a dash cam after an accident.
In many states, it is illegal to mount a dash cam directly to the windshield because it can obstruct your view. if your device records audio or uses a dash cam in the cabin, you may need to inform your passengers that they are being recorded.
how much do dash cams cost?
cost depends on quality and features. As with all technology and gadgets, with dash cams you generally get what you pay for; the more you spend, the better quality and more features you will receive.
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cheap off-brand varieties can be had for as little as $50, while features like gps, mobile app activation, and cloud storage capabilities increase the price from there. A quality mid-range option should cost around $100. Packages that include rear dash cameras, in-cab cameras, SD cards, and more can cost upwards of $500.
Keep in mind that with so many dash cams on the market, these devices can often be found for sale at retailers like Amazon and Walmart. Holidays and sales events like Black Friday and Prime Day can also land you a great deal on a quality dash cam.
are dashcams worth it?
depending on what, how and why you drive, a dash cam is definitely worth investing in. Professional drivers such as truckers, delivery drivers, and rideshare drivers who spend a lot of time behind the wheel are bound to see more action and incidents.
Accidents and traffic tickets are more likely, and dash cam footage can save jobs by absolving drivers of all liability. Some state laws and commercial insurance policies even require professional drivers to use dash, rear and/or cabin cameras, so whether you want one or not, a dash cam can be essential.
In the event of an accident, images can be used to determine fault and liability. Dash cams can also record notable events like wild accidents, close calls, and even comets streaking across the sky. and we’ve heard many reports of people finding mechanics damaging or driving their vehicles while they’re in the shop for repairs.
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